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Cats, Dogs

Matted Cat and Dog Hair can be Painful (and Dangerous) to the Health of your Pet

The Importance of Grooming
A constant struggle for owners of dogs and cats with long and/or luxurious fur is keeping them free of tangles and knots that create mats. What some may not realize is that constantly matted fur can create great pain for the animal and can lead to other health and behavior issues. Many don’t take grooming costs or time into consideration when choosing a pet companion and the pet is usually the one who pays the price.

When an animal’s coat is matted down to the level of the skin, each time a dog or cat scratches, the nail catches the matted hair or fur and tears at the skin. This creates discomfort and often pain as the scratching pulls the tangled knots away from the skin and may even lead to actual rips in skin that require stitches and antibiotics after the animal is completely shaved down by a professional. Eyes, ears, mouths, paw pads and sterile areas are increasingly prone to serious infection with an improperly managed coat.

Aside from developing open wounds, dirt and bugs and feces can be enveloped into the matted mess and cause infestation or infection within a short period of time, as well as skin rashes and other complications. Aside from the physical effects, an animal’s behavior can change drastically due to the pain and discomfort they experience with a matted coat. Dogs can tend to get very snappy and bite without provocation and cats may disappear in their occasional hiding spots for days on end and even stop cleaning themselves.

Underlying Conditions
A matted coat on a cat can also mean that they are severely nervous or not being treated properly by their owner and have stopped grooming themselves. Usually, a strong comb out is required, rather than a shave down and also a serious look at the factors and environment contributing to the cat no longer cleaning himself or herself, as was the case with Coco who was a special needs (fearful) case adopted by a woman who never took the time to introduce her into the household gradually or develop a one-on-one relationship as instructed (and supposedly understood) at the time of adoption. After a period of time, Coco had to be removed from the home and the adoption rescinded. Coco has a new mom and is doing wonderfully because the owner took the time to develop the relationship and introduce her to the new environment properly. She sleeps and snuggles and greets mom when she comes home from work and cares for her beautiful coat with no more matted fur!

It’s recommended that anyone considering adopting that fluffy little ball of fur in the window to please educate themselves on all aspects of a breed, and the cost and time of proper grooming, before choosing a pet. Additionally, be sure to find a professional groomer that has a solid reputation and has extensive experience or specializes in the particular breed or coat of your pet. Check out this LINK for more information on preventing matting in your animal’s coat.

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